An Update from WVDEP on Ethylene Oxide

From: Terry Fletcher, Chief Communications Officer, West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) is providing the below updates on its actions to address Ethylene Oxide (EtO) in the Kanawha Valley. This information, as well as previous steps taken by the WVDEP, can be found on the agency’s EtO web page. If you wish to continue to receive future updates, please sign up for the WVDEP’s EtO email list

Short-term Air Sampling Project

  • The WVDEP has initiated its short-term air sampling project for Ethylene Oxide in the South Charleston and Institute areas of Kanawha County. 
  • The first set of canisters were deployed Tuesday, Jan. 25th, ran for 24 hours, and were collected on Wednesday, Jan. 26th. The canisters are being sent to a certified lab for analysis. 
  • The remaining three sets of canisters will be deployed within the next three months.

Project Details

  • Canisters are being stationed at an approximate breathing height (five to six feet off the ground) and, to the extent possible, sampling will occur when the most EtO-emitting processes are in operation at these facilities.
  • One of the goals of the project is to sample as close as possible to the highest concentration locations predicted by previous modeling, while also ensuring sampling security and data integrity. Sampling locations were selected on this basis and are a combination of fenceline, on-site, and off-site near facilities with known EtO emissions.
  • A location in Guthrie, West Virginia was chosen as the project background site since there are no known sources of EtO emissions nearby, yet is still close to the facilities.
  • The locations of the canisters cannot be released to protect site security.
  • The Field Sampling Plan (FSP), Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP) and Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the project are available on the EtO web page under ‘Monitoring Resources.’
  • The expected project timeline is available on pg. 19 of the QAPP. 

Upcoming Public Meetings

  • The WVDEP is attempting to schedule an in-person public meeting for Spring 2022. Please note that an in-person meeting is largely dependent on public health and safety protocols stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Once a public meeting has been scheduled, the details will be announced via the agency’s EtO email list and posted to the agency’s website.

Questions, comments, and/or concerns about any of the above updates should be directed to DEP.Comments@wv.gov

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